Royal Caribbean unveils new terminal at PortMiami

Royal Caribbean Cruises and Miami-Dade County have reached an agreement to build one of the country’s largest cruise terminals at PortMiami and bring the cruise line’s gigantic ships to Miami.

“We are truly excited to be working with Miami-Dade County and PortMiami to create not just another cruise terminal, but a truly iconic building,” said Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “This new terminal is a symbol of our commitment to Miami, the city where our company first started almost 50 years ago. We can’t wait to bring an Oasis-class ship to PortMiami.”

The 170,000-square-foot terminal has been dubbed “Crown of Miami” by the line, which announced the deal plans on Tuesday. The agreement would have the line leasing the land for the terminal from Miami-Dade County, and commissioners will vote on the agreement next Wednesday.

The firm Broadway Malyan won the design contract beating out four others. The design’s shape will look like a giant when viewed from either the east or west, and like a crown from portside. At night, the terminal will be lit up to add another landmark to the Miami skyline. In addition, the line will be building a 20,000-square-foot Innovation Lab to its corporate headquarters in Miami this year.

 

The addition of the terminal will support the line’s plans to increase traffic through the world’s largest port from 750,000 passengers to 1.8 million passengers. That accounts for 30 percent of the line’s overall traffic. Current levels are at 15 percent of the line’s traffic.

The new terminal will not be the only addition for Royal Caribbean in the coming year. The company has committed to add a 20,000-square-foot Innovation Lab to its corporate headquarters located at PortMiami. The Innovation Lab will continue to generate Royal Caribbean’s industry-leading, innovative vessels.

Currently, PortMiami welcomes approximately 750,000 Royal Caribbean passengers annually, representing about 15 percent of its overall passenger traffic. Once the new cruise terminal is completed, it is anticipated that Royal Caribbean will generate at least 1.8 million passengers at PortMiami – representing no less than 30 percent of the port’s projected passenger traffic. The line sails five or six ships out of Port Everglades during the winters and only two ships out of Miami. With the new terminal, expect those roles to change, although with four Oasis-class vessels, all three of Florida’s big ports could enjoy a presence.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said the partnership is expected to generate 4,000 jobs and add an economic impact of $500 million.

“Miami-Dade County is happy to welcome Royal Caribbean’s expansion at PortMiami, and all the economic benefits that come along with it,” said Gimenez. “Royal Caribbean has been an important part of our world-class community for almost 50 years, and this expansion will once again make PortMiami Royal Caribbean’s largest cruise port in the world. I thank them for their continued investment in and commitment to Miami-Dade.”

rtribou@orlandosentinel.com, 407-420-5134